I have a '98 Olds Silohette van (FWD - like Chev Venture) that has
145,000 miles now, and I've replaced both hubs and tie rod ends that
wore out. Now a new problem has gradually emerged, its a sort of mild
sticking and release of the steering on sharp low speed turns
accomplanied by a sort of groan and the action of the wheels is not
super smooth. With the wheels off the ground I did not notice binding
of the ball joints or CV's when doing mainenance, and I don't get the
clicking normally associated with bad CV's. What are the symptoms of
a bad rack & pinion? Is this normal for an older GM car ?
It isn't a GM problem, it is a car problem. Things wear out at high mileage
and have to be replaced. Steering parts wear based on how hard a life they
have had. The problem sounds like the rack and pinion bushings are wearing.
It will probably have to be replaced.
From a shade tree mechanic...fwiw
Power steering unit full ?? Has it been flushed lately ??? Any leakage
from the hoses ?? Did you replace inner tie rod ends or just the outter ??
If the inner tie rod ends were not replaced, do they have any play when
wheels are unloaded. Any play, in and out indicated a worn inner tie
If the inner tie rod ends were replaced...did any power steering
fluid leakage from the bushings i.e. removing the bellows and power steering
fluid dribbles out..
Another indicator of worn R&P is binding at maximum wheel turn.
My 1990 Silhouette inner tie rod ends needed replacement at 122, 000 miles at
it was discovered the R&P seals were leaking requiring replacement of the unit.
new assembly came complete with inner tie rod ends ready for the shop to
Replacement cost as of 9 / 2006 for a remanufactured rack including inner
tie rod ends, power steering fluid replacement and alignment was $850.00
This included sales tax and shop supplies charges.
I wouldn't recommend R&R in a driveway on jack stands unless you've had
experience... Clearance is tight.
About a month after the rack and pinion was replaced.... the hi pressure hose
started leaking at the metal crimp. This cost about 320.00 to replace including
tax and shop charges. Not enough clearance under the car to get at the
hose connection to the R&P when laying on your back under the car in a
The real mechanics on this newsgroup will have better information as to how
it can be done.
1. replaced outers only. Inner ends did not show any play
2. fluid was flushed out as well over a year ago, about as well as I
could being shade tree, we sucked out the resv. and ran it, then did
this repeatedly now the fluid looks good. You can disconnect a hose
and get a better flush, but this is a quick easy flush.
3. I had a leak on a metal line, but I fixed it.
4. Yes, I'm not anxous to spend all the money, and not that anxious to
fix it myself either, although I've done some big jobs in the past
this one as you mention, looks fairly tight and not very fun
I think right now I'll keep driving it and checking fluid until it
gets worse, then deal with it. At 150k, she'll have some issues.
Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.